Thursday, May 25, 2017

Virtual Book Tour: Running Wild Anthology of Stories: Volume 1 by Various Authors"

Running Wild Anthology of Stories: Volume 1
By Various Authors: Sarah Smith Ducksworth, Elaine Crauder, Luanne Smith, Keith R. Fentonmiller, Lisa Montagne, Ann Stolinsky, A.J. O’Connell, Aimee LaBrie, Kristan Campbell, Jack Hillman, Bill Scruggs, Joshua Hedges and Gary Zenker


GENRE: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry (narrative)



This gripping collection of stories - fiction, nonfiction, and narrative poem - will make your imagination run wild! Featuring stories by Sarah Smith Ducksworth, Elaine Crauder, Luanne Smith, Keith R. Fentonmiller, Lisa Montagne, Ann Stolinsky, A.J. O’Connell, Aimee LaBrie, Kristan Campbell, Jack Hillman, Bill Scruggs, Joshua Hedges, Gary Zenker. You will travel alternative planets, run away away like teens in search of adventure, solve a murderous mystery, come to grips with your fears, and much more.


Excerpt Two:

She was right there when I turned from the garlic bin. I gagged on my half-chewed Tums and choked down the chalky shards. A leather headband restrained her mane of jet-black hair, while her spaghetti strap dress exposed so much neck and shoulder I thought I was back home on Brighton Beach. What really razzed my berries was her scent. Roses. Not just one rose or a bouquet, but thousands, millions! Every rose that had ever grown or would be grown. The entire essence of roses condensed into a single whiff. It transported me back to Ebbets Field, 1941. I was ten at the time and couldn’t tear my eyes from this girl selling peanuts, as though she had a magnet behind her face and my eyeballs had turned to iron. First, I smelled roses. Then, her denim overalls brushed my naked knee. “Nuts?” she’d asked. I was struck dumb. I gazed into her leather headband and sniffed like a hypnotized moron with a runny nose. “Did you hear me?” asked the woman, yanking me back to 1957.” From Keith Fentonmiller’s “Exodus”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Elaine Crauder’s fiction is also in Cooweescoowee, The Boston Literary Magazine, The Eastern Iowa Review , and Penumbra. Another story received the Westmoreland Short Story Award. Eleven of her short stories have been finalists or semi-finalists in contests, including finalists in the Tobias Wolff and Mark Twain House contests. ”The Price Of A Pony,” under the title”Christmas the Hard Way,” was a semi-finalist for both Ruminate Magazine’s short story prize and for the Salem College Center for Women Writers Reynolds Price short fiction award.

Richard D. “Ky” Owen is a lawyer with Goodwin & Goodwin, LLP, in Charleston, West Virginia. He earned a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University in 1981 and a J.D. from Hamline University in 1984. Coming from a family of writers, he considers himself a “writer by birth.” He is the author of
None Call Me Dad and he blogs about parenting and Michigan State sports on his website,

Keith R. Fentonmiller is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His Pushcart-nominated short story was recently published in the Stonecoast Review. His debut novel, Kasper M├╝tzenmacher’s Cursed Hat, will be published March 20, 2017 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Based in Southern California, Dr. Lisa Montagne currently divides her time between writing poetry and prose, teaching writing to (mostly) willing college students, and overseeing educational technology projects and support at Fullerton College. She is also a Swing, Blues, and Argentine Tango dancer, host, DJ, and instructor. She likes to drink Champagne in as many places as she can, including Europe; to read poetry aloud to anybody who will listen; to cook for anybody who is willing to sit down long enough to enjoy her food; to dabble in drawing, painting, and photography; and to read anything plopped in front of her, ranging from D.H. Lawrence to Vogue magazine. She also likes to watch television and movies, and to imagine how much better she would have produced them herself. She lived in Las Vegas at one time, so she likes to tell people that she was a stripper there. She was really just a graduate student and high school teacher, but it’s more fun to let people wonder. Although rumored to be a direct descendent of Oompa Loompas, Lisa is actually the offspring of a college professor and a circus dwarf. You can find some more of her writing at and, and see evidence of her adventures @lisamlore on Instagram.

Ann Stolinsky is a Pennsylvania-based word and game expert. She is the founder and owner of Gontza Games, an independent board and card game company, and three of her games are currently in the marketplace:

MINDFIELD, The Game of United States Military Trivia”; “Pass the Grogger!”; and “Christmas Cards.”

Check out her website at She is also a partner in Gemini Wordsmiths, a full-service copyediting and content creating company. Visit for more information and testimonials. Ann reviews books for Amazing Stories Magazine, an online sci-fi magazine which can be found at, and is an Assistant Editor for Red Sun Magazine, Her most recent publishing credit is a poem in the Fall 2015 issue of Space and Time Magazine. She is a graduate of the Bram Stoker award-winning author Jonathan Maberry’s short story writing class.

Lisa Diane Kastner is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery. She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. ( She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award. Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey she migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously engage in little sparks of anarchy.

Aimee LaBrie works as a communications director at Rutgers University. She earned her MFA in fiction from Penn State, and her MLA from University of Pennsylvania. Her short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction and published by the University of North Texas Press in 2007. Her second collection of stories, A Good Thing, placed as a finalist in the BOA Short Fiction Contest. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Pleiades, Minnesota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Permafrost, and other literary journals. In 2012, she won first place in Zoetrope’s All-Story Fiction contest. You can read her blog at

Kristan Campbell is a short story writer born in Washington, D.C. but has only visited her grandmother there during some of the summers of her childhood. She’s more familiar with Philadelphia, New York City, and Paris than her native city and aims to weave her experiences in those places into tales based on places and people that are out of the ordinary. She studied Journalism at Temple University (what seemed like a practical approach to writing at the time) and Comparative Literature at Hunter College (which seemed like a fun idea at the time) before accepting that she should have been an English major all along. Kristan completed her B.A. in English at Temple University in 2010 and an MFA in Fiction at Fairfield
University in 2016. She’s currently attempting to eke out a living doing freelance editing with the help of her cat, Fishy, who manages her desktop printer with enthusiasm.

Bill Ed Scruggs spent his younger years meeting the Southern mountain countryside and exploring the people, taking time out as needed for work in various occupations. He lives (temporarily) in Connecticut and has one child, a psychiatrist. Presently he is reconstructing his memories and imaginings in a series of novels and short stories (Facebook page Foothills Fiction - Bill Ed Scruggs) Warrensburg is a fictional photo of a country village in the illumination of fireflies.

Joshua Hedges is a debut Science Fiction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Computer Science. When he’s not writing stories or code, he ventures outdoors with his wife and three-year-old son to hunt dragons in the forest.

Gary Zenker is a marketing professional whose days are filled with creating business and marketing plans, and writing ad copy and media content. By night, he applies his imagination to flash fiction tales that cross genre and focus on revealing various facets of human nature. He is the author of Meetup Leader, a book on running successful groups; is editor and publisher of 19 books in the rock & roll Archives series; and co-author of Says Seth, a humorous collection written with his then six-year-old son. His work has earned a dozen marketing awards and placed in four writers’ contests, including a first place recognition from Oxford University Press. He founded and continues to lead two writers groups in southeastern PA, assisting others to develop their skills and achieve their writing goals.


Interview with Bill Scruggs
1.  Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I get inspiration from the things that I like, or, more usually, liked. I'm recreating the people and sights and sounds and smells that I'd like to experience again. Sometimes I call it "remembering and reimagining." I can't get back to mountains and hill country and the rivers and lakes and forests right now, but I can bring them to me. Then I add something threatening or puzzling or challenging to the time and place, and some good people (with a few faults) that I know must have been there somewhere even if I didn't run into them, close my eyes and start imagining how it would all work out. Then I open my eyes and try to keep up on the keyboard. It's kind of like a daydream with a written record.

2. How did you do research for your book?
I don't write about things I don't know about, so there's not a big research base; it's more like fact-checking. I can get most of it on online now, but I still have some Tennessee history books, some farmer's calendars that give length of day, moon phases, sun and moon rise and set times (moon phase is a function of rise and set times, so you don't want a full moon rising at midnight, or being up for 12 hours in the summertime). I tend to take the fictional landscape from a real landscape, and if it's not one I remember I'll take it off a topographical map, which I used to collect but now can get online. As with the moon phases and many other trip-me-ups, this "fact-checking" keeps me from describing something mother nature can't create. I'll go online for technical details I don't remember or never knew about, e.g., horse or cattle breeds, ranges of wildflower or tree species, effects of snakebite or ballistics of bullet flight. I won't say, like Louis L'Amour, that "if I write about a spring that spring is there," but you can be sure it could be there.

3. Do you have another profession besides writing?
I've worked for the state as a social worker, doing welfare, child abuse, etc, but I was always getting in trouble with my alleged superiors for trying to help people.

4. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
If I didn't have a safe-passage guarantee, no further than mid-fifties Appalachia. The past was dangerous. With the guarantee . . .
Palestine in Biblical times. Lepers and cruel kings and invaders with chariot armies. Most people had to walk everywhere and provide their own protection against bandits (though they probably couldn't do much about fleas and lice). Medical care was a guess and a gamble. Did they adapt and have a positive attitude, or were they terrified and praying for rescue as I imagine I would be?

And I'd like to ride a horse up a narrow mountain trail in the Old West, headed for the other side which I'd never seen.

5. What is your next project?
Completing TENNESSEE STORY, my current novel. A good friend, a well-educated and sophisticated reader, called the first draft one of the ten best novels she has read. It's prejudice and love, money and poverty, landowners and sharecroppers in the mid-twentieth century South, an old man and old woman who find themselves behaving like children again, a rich valley kid who cannot understand why he's willing to risk his life to see an ignorant backwoods mountain girl, and a boy and girl who fall in love when they're not even allowed to notice each other. It's one of my most profound experiences, although I was just sitting at a desk the whole time, and sometimes I'm not sure if an event was partially remembered or wholly imagined.
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of the free-verse piece published in "Running Wild" is the storm and the rising river, "the gentle whisper of water in a hurry saturates the air like the fog that augurs the werewolf" or "the once gently-flowing ripples and waves are beginning to march to the music of the wind." A storm and a rising river represent close contact with raw power and, as in the poem, we'd better figure out how to adapt.

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
From the same piece (and later from TENNESSEE STORY), Laveen'ya Dibble, the black sharecropper girl with the huge plans and irresistible will. I would want to walk through the places she knew from the book, and ask questions about how she felt now about that world, was her family still strong, did she still love Uncle Tyson, did she ever miss White Boy Joe Roy, just a little? She was created real enough (through the technique described below) that I do not know what her answers would be.

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
I'm going to sound a little prideful here, but that's not the explanation. Nobody can satisfy my needs in a book as I can, because nobody knows them as I do. I think TENNESSEE STORY is as good as any novel ever written, because it includes every element of human behavior that belongs in a great novel, and the characters are so real you can feel the heat from their skin. I apologize for this display of prejudice and hubris, and admit that I would be proud to claim any novel William Faulkner wrote.

4. Are your characters based on real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? 
For important characters I start with innate personality characteristics embedded enough to survive through education and conditioning, in a human being who doesn't yet have gender or history or skin color. E.g. mentally strong, tenacious, smart, timid, volatile. Then I add gender, skin color if it's pertinent, where they have lived, what's happened to them, all important life experiences and teaching and acquired beliefs. Then mix nature and nurture, and wait while a personality emerges. I think characters turn out pretty realistic and 3D, and the developed personality puts restraints on me using them for any action that facilitates the plot, even if it's out of character. They have a character and I have to abide by it, even I have to work with the plot.

5. What made you want to become a writer?
I don't know, I never thought about it. The first story was in the third grade, trying to get a thirsty cowboy on a tired horse across the desert. The teacher caught me, and I don't believe I ever finished it. But I still remember a hard ride, hardship, dangers, and exhilaration, so I guess I was hooked.



The authors will be awarding three individual prizes, a $10, a $25 and a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Really informative interview!


  3. I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

  4. I love anthologies! They're perfect to dip in and out of and to give the reader a taste of an author's writing style.

  5. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  6. Hope this does well for you all!

  7. Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  8. I found section 4, above, absolutely fascinating. Thank you for explaining your technique.

  9. I enjoyed the interview and excerpt.

  10. June? What happened to April and May?

  11. Anyone else find it difficult to come up with something fresh everyday?

  12. It's a Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland but wherever you are I hope it's been a nice one for you!

  13. A public holiday so of course it's rained non-stop :(

  14. It's really hard to come up with and original comment day after day!

  15. I'm sorry but all I can think of is 'Happy Hump Day'!

  16. I'm not doing these GFP promos any more; they're too much like hard work!

  17. Excellent interview! I really enjoyed reading it! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  18. And that's the end of the contest - phew!